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Yesterday
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

"Wide majorities of Muslims in most countries say they prefer democracy over a "strong leader," which is Pew's standard question for determining support for democracy.   Support is particularly high in Africa and Southeast Asia. It's more mixed in the Middle East, with opinion varying between countries but generally leaning pro-democracy. Support is weakest in post-Soviet countries, as well as in Pakistan."

Obviously, preferring democracy is not the same as having it.  There is a high cost in human lives to revolution, and no guarantee of overcoming autocracy or military power to achieve democracy.

Most of the harsh anti-sexual dogma attributed to Islam was actually imported from pre-existing cultural attitudes, and reflects the values of its early years, just as the Christian equivalents added similar dogma that was never preached by the supposed founder.

The US, and other countries that followed our example by transitioning to democracy, have fortunately created more or less secular governments that accepted a diversity of religious sects but resisted undue religious influence on laws.  The interaction of government and religion has gradually modified the harsher aspects of Christianity for most, though the extremists are still around.

Areas that kept religion as a basis for government didn't have that compromise-inducing effect.  Religion and nationality, belief and loyalty, are much closer to being the same.  

That difference in the way people self-identify results in a variance in their reaction to criticism and to threats.  While we may react defensively to criticism of our countries, or of our beliefs, the reactions would be separate and different, and though either or both might be important to a given individual, neither wholly defines our concepts of Self.

If we imagine those two aspects of being as inextricably intertwined, it might open a clearer understanding of a different way of perceiving the world and its challenges and conflicts.  It's normal to be biased in favor of our Western way of thinking, but not to say it is the only way, or the only right way.

I am not a fan of any religion, but they exist, and we need to understand how they affect thinking, and determine the best approach to peaceful coexistence.


There were 1.8 billion Muslims in the world as of 2015 – roughly 24% of the global population. There are about 3.45 million M
Yesterday
2 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

No one on the left is apologizing for anyone's violent act.  Understanding the motivations for them is not at all the same thing.  Correcting our own country's behavior is something we MIGHT be able to affect.  That doesn't imply approval of  or an excuse for an attack.


There were 1.8 billion Muslims in the world as of 2015 – roughly 24% of the global population. There are about 3.45 million M
2 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

If Islam Is a Religion of Violence, So Is Christianity

http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/06/14/if-islam-is-a-religion-of-violence-so-is-christianity/ 

There is ideology in all religions, and some sectors within them that concentrate on the ideological aspect.  It would be reasonable to say that the Wahabbis are such a sect in Islam, comparable to the Christian fundamentalists who attempt to force their dogma onto secular law.  Hinduism has become more of a political ideology in India under the current government.

Religion often affects politics, and vice versa.  When people see their religion as under attack, they seek political solutions.  Religious beliefs are bound to affect ideological attitudes to some extent.  Those in both Christianity and Islam who see their messages as being kindness and charity toward others want to see their governments enable that.  Those who concentrate on enforcing certain behavior will favor authoritarian law.

The majority of all Muslims would prefer a democratic form of government.   Muslim-majority countries have lower rates of violent crime.

Calling the world's second largest religion "not a religion" doesn't mean anything but to express your own prejudices.


There were 1.8 billion Muslims in the world as of 2015 – roughly 24% of the global population. There are about 3.45 million M
2 days ago
cosmicrat added new blog post

There were 1.8 billion Muslims in the world as of 2015 – roughly 24% of the global population. There are about 3.45 million M
3 days ago · 6 comments6 comments
10 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

If you had used an actual example of another issue of concern, the "what about.." argument says "I think this other issue is more important, so how can you address the first problem and ignore the second?"  Even with a real example, that is a bogus argument.  There are always multiple issues of concern at any one time.  It is a valid, and likely more effective approach to deal with one at a time.


Sargon Of Akkad’ Cites White Nationalist Propaganda, Reveals His Alt-Right Sympathies "Carl Benjamin, known online by his pop
10 days ago
11 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

WHAT in the hell are you talking about?You're flipping words around to create an 'opposite' that doesn't exist.

What you're attempting to do is use "whataboutism"  


Sargon Of Akkad’ Cites White Nationalist Propaganda, Reveals His Alt-Right Sympathies "Carl Benjamin, known online by his pop
11 days ago
13 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

That would depend on the particular variety.  There are sects and cults within all of the major religions that are warped and dangerous, while the vast majority of each religion's members are relatively harmless.


Sargon Of Akkad’ Cites White Nationalist Propaganda, Reveals His Alt-Right Sympathies "Carl Benjamin, known online by his pop
13 days ago
16 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

What I said was that the primary cause was his being mentally disturbed, and that one symptom of that disturbance was his attraction to the twisted hateful ideology of white supremacy,

I also believe that those hateful ideas made his condition more unstable,  Yes, religious extremism, or extreme hate for those of a particular religion, can be just as dangerous in combination with mental illness.


Sargon Of Akkad’ Cites White Nationalist Propaganda, Reveals His Alt-Right Sympathies "Carl Benjamin, known online by his pop
16 days ago
17 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

What did I say that you consider disingenuous?  I specifically said that one story proves nothing.

I think it is clear that the boy was mentally disturbed.  Parents disapproving of boyfriends is nothing new.  Sometimes they are justified, sometimes not.  Many of those run away, live together or elope.  Few would think murdering the parents, or even threatening them would solve the problem.

That he was attracted to extreme racist beliefs was prior evidence of his mental imbalance.  We don't know if he got his ideas at home or from an outside source.  Extreme hateful ideologies are not the primary cause, but they exacerbate the irrational thinking, giving it focus for anger, seeming to justify violence.

Both racial and religious extremists are a small minority, rejected by most people.  Their messages target the ignorant and unstable, allowing them to cause harm and fear without being directly involved.

They may claim to speak for the racial majority, or for their religion, but they do not.  There are no "fine people" among them.  There should be no excuses, and no defense for them from anyone.


Sargon Of Akkad’ Cites White Nationalist Propaganda, Reveals His Alt-Right Sympathies "Carl Benjamin, known online by his pop
17 days ago
21 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

I'm adding one more story to the mix here:

Parents Killed After Warning Daughter About Boyfriend’s Racist Views, Family Says

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/24/us/teen-murder-racist-virginia.html

I'm not posting this because it proves anything about a trend.  One story never does.  I hope it's the only time this ever happens, because it is a profoundly sad story, especially for the young girl who has lost her parents, and may never be able to stop blaming herself for her bad choice of boyfriends.

It is possible, even probable, that the 17-year-old boy was seriously mentally disturbed, and may have been dangerous no matter what his ideas were, but the ones he picked were the worst possible.  He got them from somewhere, and from someone.


Sargon Of Akkad’ Cites White Nationalist Propaganda, Reveals His Alt-Right Sympathies "Carl Benjamin, known online by his pop
21 days ago
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